Contact the Tropical Forests and People Research Centre

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Contact the Tropical Forests and People Research Centre


General enquiries

Michelle Tapp
Tel: +61 7 5456 5977

Street address

90 Sippy Downs Drive
Sippy Downs
Queensland 4556

Postal address

Tropical Forests and People Research Centre (ML26)
Locked Bag 4

Key contacts

Our office location
Building B, Ground floor (Rm BG.03)
USC Sunshine Coast

Centre Director
John Herbohn
Tel: +61 7 5456 5187
Office: Building B, Level 1, B1.08A

Centre Deputy Director
Jack Baynes
Tel:  +61 428 673 321
Office: Building B, Level 1, B1.05

Our people

The Tropical Forests and People Research Centre brings together around 50 researchers interested in the interactions between people and tropical forests. The Centre is based around multidisciplinary projects and a desire of its members to work collaboratively to address complex problems associated with reforestation and forest management in the tropics.

Our members include social and biophysical scientists with expertise in forest reforestation and rehabilitation, ecology, forest science, silviculture, hydrology, soil science, anthropology, livelihood systems, economics, supply chains, finance and policy.

  • Mark Annandale
    Mark Annandale

    Research Manager / Senior Research Fellow

    Mark is a senior researcher specialising in sustainable development, Indigenous community engagement, Indigenous community forestry, mining operations and mine-site rehabilitation. Mark has over 20 years’ experience working with private, public and NGO sector clients in Australia and internationally, including in the facilitation and management of multidisciplinary teams for project implementation. With a successful track record of completing projects on time and within budget Mark has a demonstrated capacity to work with a diversity of stakeholders, from the bush to the boardroom, to reach mutually beneficial outcomes.

  • Associate Professor Grahame Applegate
    Associate Professor Grahame Applegate

    Principal Research Fellow

    Grahame's research interest is in tropical rainforest ecology and restoration, tropical peatland restoration, small holder and community forest management, and peat fire behaviour.

  • Associate Professor Jack Baynes
    Associate Professor Jack Baynes

    Principal Research Fellow

    Dr Jack Baynes’ specialist areas of knowledge include plantation and native forest management, community forestry in developing countries and rural extension.

  • Dr Shannon Brincat
    Dr Shannon Brincat

    Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations

    Shannon's work focuses on processes of global transformation taking place over and above the state. In particular, he has examined how people have sought to expand the circle of inclusion in cosmopolitan political community through processes of mutual recognition and dialogue across borders in world politics. Other research areas include global responses to climate change and ecological crises, accountability efforts in global governance, and the problems of assassination and tyrannicide. Shannon has also investigated the continuing impact of dialogue and discourses in socialist thought, including fieldwork in Cuba in 2016 investigating current forms of socio-political change underway on the island. His current major project focuses on dialectics – a unique form of thinking through dialogue with others – and how different cultures and societies have utilised such knowledge across history.

  • Professor Mark Brown
    Professor Mark Brown

    Director, Forest Industries Research Centre, Professor of Forestry Operations; Director, Australian Forest Operations Research Alliance (AFORA)

    Professor Mark Brown's specialist areas of knowledge include forest transport efficiency, forest supply chain management and optimisation, biomass supply chain efficiency and driving innovation from applied research

  • Gina Castelain
    Gina Castelain

    Research Fellow

    Ginas vision is for the Wik and Wik Waya people to be able to harness their natural abilities to live productive, imaginative lives where they can move between their own country and mainstream Australian life. Community Development is Gina’s passion, and she is considered a strong leader, not only for the Wik and Wik Waya people of Aurukun for Aboriginal Australians on a National level.

  • Professor Robin Chazdon
    Professor Robin Chazdon

    Professor, Tropical Forest Restoration

    I am a forest ecologist with a research focus on tropical forest regeneration and restoration. I also study how different approaches to forest restoration can enhance social and environmental outcomes.

  • Dr Bob Fisher
    Dr Bob Fisher

    Senior Research Fellow

    Dr Bob Fisher's specialist areas of knowledge include community forestry, natural resource management, REDD+, poverty and conservation, protected area governance

  • Dr Nestor Gregorio
    Dr Nestor Gregorio

    Research Fellow

    Dr Nestor Gregorio is a forester with research interest on forest and landscape restoration. He is responsible for the implementation ACIAR funded FLR research projects in the Philippines. He leads research activities focusing on developing and testing different FLR models, and undertaking research activities related to policy development promoting the success of people-based forest restoration.

  • Dr Madaline Healey
    Dr Madaline Healey

    Research Fellow

    Madaline is an entomologist with a focus on integrated pest management, in particular biological control. Madaline is currently working on developing a biocontrol agent for galling insect pests of eucalypts in South East Asia and facilitating the development of smallholder agro-forestry in southern Lao PDR, using trees for fuel, food and timber.

  • Professor John Herbohn
    Professor John Herbohn

    Director, Tropical Forests and People Research Centre; Professor of Tropical Forestry

    Professor John Herbohn's specialist areas of knowledge are related to smallholder and community forestry in the tropics. He is an expert in the areas of reforestation and forest restoration, particularly the degree of reforestation programs in tropical countries using mixed-species reforestation approaches that can form part of the livelihood strategies of smallholders and communities. Professor Herbohn also has an interest in rainforest ecology, especially in the area of forest recovery following selective logging. In addition, he is currently a non-executive director for a NZ forestry company.

  • Dr Chris Jacobson
    Dr Chris Jacobson

    USC Senior Research Fellow; Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences

    a USC Research Fellow with expertise in adaptive and collaborative natural resource management with Indigenous communities in Aotearoa New Zealand and Canada.

  • Associate Professor David Lee
    Associate Professor David Lee

    Associate Professor, Plant Genetics

    David leads the hardwood domestication and tree improvement program in Queensland focusing on spotted gums, Queensland sandalwood, Gympie messmate and lemon myrtle. He also leads a large FWPA funded project, characterising the wood properties of the southern pine (Pinus elliottii, P. caribaea and their hybrids).

  • Associate Professor Geoff Lovell
    Associate Professor Geoff Lovell

    Associate Professor, Psychology | Deputy Chair University Learning and Teaching Committee | Chair First Year Experience Reference Group

  • Associate Professor Andrew Marshall
    Associate Professor Andrew Marshall

    ARC Future Fellow

    Andy's current research focuses on the measurement of conservation success and restoration of tropical forests through vine clearance and tree-planting. This work falls under two initiatives: FoRCE (Forest Restoration and Climate Experiment), a long-term study to understand the recovery of forests following disturbance; and HISP (Holistic Indicator Selection Protocol), a method for selecting and ranking measures of conservation success

  • Dr John Meadows
    Dr John Meadows

    Research Fellow

    John is a forester and social scientist with expertise in forest management, revegetation, ecosystem restoration, agroforestry, rural socio-ecological change, NRM extension, small-scale biomass energy systems, Indigenous land-use and Indigenous Protected Area management, qualitative research, editing, and project management.

  • Dr Tony Page
    Dr Tony Page

    Senior Research Fellow

    Tony's research relates to genetic improvement, silviculture and forestry extension for high value tropical tree crops. This work has directly resulted in the development of improved genetic resources and increased investment in smallholder commercial tree planting. The work is aimed to address socio-economic and environmental issues associated with logging and deforestation. Tony leads international research teams (ACIAR-funded) investigating the technical, policy and socio-economic factors for successful smallholder-based commercial forestry in Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Timor Leste, Indonesia and north Queensland.

  • Associate Professor Digby Race
    Associate Professor Digby Race

    Principal Research Fellow

    Associate Professor Digby Race's research relates to understanding socio-economic challenges and opportunities for viable links between the agricultural, forestry and natural resource management sectors, in Australia and the wider Asia-Pacific region. In his current role, Digby leads an international research team exploring the socio-economic and policy dimensions of community-based commercial forestry in Indonesia, principally funded by ACIAR.

The Tropical Forests and People Research Centre includes Adjunct researchers who complement the team and extend the current and integral work into the areas of ecology, hydrology and biology.

Their expertise, often significant track records and experience provide additional depth for the team and provide key input into grant development, peer review of publications and mentoring of researchers across the team.

Adjunct staff play a vital role in strategic planning activities across the year and provide expert advice on how the Centre can position itself for the future growth and increase social and economic impact locally, nationally and globally.

Through ACIAR and other partners, researchers across the Centre collaborate with various national and international and people including:


Research Staff (Philippines)

  • Ofelia Moreno
  • Nova Parcia
  • Crisanto Solano
  • Rogelio Tripoli
  • Mark Ygana

Australian Collaborators

  • Dr Paul Dargusch (UQ)
  • Dr Bob Congdon (JCU)
  • Dr Wolfram Dressler (UMelb)
  • Dr Hartmut Holzknecht

International Collaborators

  • Professor Sampurno Bruijnzeel (Virje University Amsterdam, Faculty of Science - Earth Sciences)
  • Dr Iljavan Meerveld (University of Zurich, Critical Zone Hydrology Group)
  • Professor David Foster (Harvard University, Harvard Forest)
  • Dr David Orwig (Harvard University, Harvard Forest)
  • Professor Mark Ashton (Yale, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies)
  • Professor John Bliss (Oregon State University)
  • Dr Victor Asio (Visayas State University, College of Agriculture and Food Science)
  • Dr Henry Goltiano (Visayas State University, College of Agriculture and Food Science)
  • Dr Eduardo Mangaoang (Visayas State University, College of Agriculture and Food Science)
  • Yolanda Mangaoang (Visayas State University, College of Agriculture and Food Science)
  • Dr Lilian Nunez (Visayas State University, College of Agriculture and Food Science)
  • Dr Arturo Pasa (Visayas State University, College of Agriculture and Food Science)
  • Dr Dennis Peque (Visayas State University, College of Agriculture and Food Science)
  • Dr Anatolio Polinar (Visayas State University, College of Agriculture and Food Science)
  • Lemuel Preciados (Visayas State University, College of Agriculture and Food Science)
  • Dr Arsenio Ramos (Visayas State University, College of Agriculture and Food Science)
  • Dr Eugene Bautista (Philippines - Department of Environment and Natural Resources)
  • Emma Germano (Philippines - Department of Environment and Natural Resources)
  • Danny Lendio (Philippines - Department of Environment and Natural Resources)
  • Bonifacio Polinar (Philippines - Department of Environment and Natural Resources)

The problems our group are exploring are varied and complex. In order for us to find solutions it is essential for us to partner with a range of forestry organisations, societies, community groups, academic and government groups. We have the brightest minds working together to help improve the livelihoods of forest-dependent communities and help them generate food and cash.

The impact for the Tropical Forests and People Research Centre may be largely attributed to long-term partnerships and networks with leading international researchers, policy makers and NGOs across a number of regions, in particular Asia-Pacific and Australia.

The Centre engages in partnerships where both or multiple partners are treated equally and valued for the strengths, knowledge and experiences they bring to the collaborative project/s. It is through these long-term and beneficial partnerships that the true impact of our work can be seen and grown from.

  • Harvard University
  • Yale University
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • University of Massachusettes
  • World Resources Institute
  • Sao Paulo University
  • Institute of Foresters of Australia
  • NASA
  • University of Jambi
  • Riau and Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation
  • Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)
  • Hancock Forest Management Group
  • Visayas State University (Philippines)
  • The PNG Forest Authority
  • The University of Papua New Guinea
  • South Pacific Commission
  • Wet Tropics Management Authority
  • The University of Natural Resources and Environment (PNG)
  • MyPathways
  • Green Coast Resources
  • Northern Territory Government
  • Department of Australian Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • Pacific Island Projects
  • Queensland Fire and Emergency Services
  • HQPlantations Pty Ltd
  • Private Forestry Services Queensland
  • Southern Cross University
  • Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS)
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • People and Reforestation in the Tropics: a Network for Education Research Synthesis (PARTNERS)
  • University of Queensland
  • Queensland University of Technology
  • University of Connecticut
  • Australian National University
  • South Dakota State University
  • Institut Pertanian, Bogor (IPB, Forestry Faculty)
  • Global Green Growth Institute
  • Sabah Forestry Department and The Nature Conservancy
  • Asia-Pacific Network For Sustainable Forest Management and Rehabilitation
  • The Philippines Department of Environment and Natural Resources
  • The PNG Forest Research Institute
  • Goroka Forest Office (PNG)
  • Conservation International
  • The World Agroforestry Centre
  • Wik Timber
  • Rio Tinto
  • Gumatj Corporation Gulkula Mining
  • The University of Western Australia
  • Vanuatu Department of Forests
  • Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
  • Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service
  • New South Wales Department of Primary Industries
  • James Cook University

Research students are fundamental to the success of the Tropical Forests and People Research Centre.

We strive to provide:

  • Interesting projects and research support based around existing projects;
  • Collegiate, stimulating and challenging environment e.g. active lab group driven by students;
  • Supervisory teams with broad skill base;
  • Generic field skills; and
  • ’systems thinking’ skills and capacity to work as part of trans-disciplinary teams.
Student Project information Contact
Ming Quang Phan Assessing the Potential of Enrichment Plantings in North Queensland, Australia to Increase Timber Production with Tropical Forests and the Implication for Forest Management and Restoration
Bhawana KC Implication of Migration on the Livelihoods and Community Forest in the Middle Hills Region of Nepal
Liz Ota Reforestation and Livelihoods: Socioeconomic and Financial Outcomes of Smallholder Reforestation in the Tropics
Micah Scudder Strategies for Scaling-up Eco-forestry Operations in Papua New Guinea
Kurt Von Kleist Are biodiversity provisions outlined in Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) being attained? A case study from the Philippines.
Kanchana Wiset Models for Engaging Communities in Forest Landscape Restoration in Asia
Professional staff
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